My Father had a great love for his cats and over his long lifetime there were many. I was delighted to find this treasured photo among his collection of keep-sakes, for it spoke about him in ways that words never could. He was a quiet man who loved his music, his family and his pets. He liked to tend to his garden, take his boat out for fishing when he lived in West Seattle and also had a natural eye for photography.
I remember once, I was designing a window treatment as a house-warming gift for my folks. Dad and my step-mom carefully thought it over and chose the fabric that was the very same blue that was the exact shade as their beloved cat’s eyes. Blue was Dad’s favorite colour and it was important to him the the colour be a perfect match to their darling kitty.
All of his life, Dad had this special bond with his cats and with all animals. When he would come to my house for a visit, he would greet my pets as if they were long time friends before he went out into the back yard to spend some quality time with my beautiful chickens. I loved creating a home for them in a little house that was very secure from predators. It was planned and built with care. Windows to ventilate and one very special leaded glass window to lend charm to the chicken’s domain. Next to the door, I had a climbing rose and fragrant honeysuckle vines that covered the chicken wire fence and spilled in sweet profusion. We had the chickens only for the fresh eggs they provided and some of my chickens even had been named by me. Henny Penny and Phyllis Diller were two of my favorites. Phillis was a Champagne crested Polish and got her name from Phyllis Diller’s crazy hair do from so many years ago. Henny Penny was a huge golden colored Buff Orpington who would follow me all around the yard when I was tending the gardens. She knew that I would be unearthing insects and worms for her to eat and share with her little chicks. She was the best mother hen ever and I loved seeing her in my gardens with her little ones following in her wake.
These were some of the reasons my Father loved visiting my home. He always made sure to bring bits of lettuce or potato peeling as a treat for them for he knew how much they loved fresh vegetables. He would throw the treats over the fence and stand and watch while the chickens ran for the food. A visit to their pen was always seen to before he would sit down and have his own dinner.
Those were very special times we shared and my Father’s love of animals touched my life for as long as I can remember. I am sure he would love visiting my home now for I have six cats and he would surely know all of their names and would love spending time visiting with them. As I look at this old photo that is from perhaps 1917 or 1918, I am reminded of my dear Father and this love he had for all animals.
I guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree…
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“To some people, homeless cats are of little value. But to those who are not quite so blind, they are not only precious lives, but also very special beings, blessed with the ability to touch our imagination and lead us into a world of true magic and wonder.” ~ Michael Mountain, President , Best Friends Animal Society
A special dedication to Leena and Minny on Friday, 12/12/2008. Leena has a very special love for all animals and rescued little Minnie. She made sure that Minnie got the medical attention she needed and brought her back home where she lives with love and in harmony with her other cats and family members.
Welcome home Minny!